My Distance Learning Abroad: a Relaxed Lifestyle Down Under
Mandy moved to Australia together with her family. She enjoys the fabulous weather and the openness of the people here – however, one thing is certain: they will return to Germany.
My name is Mandy, I am 39 years old and live with my family in Brisbane, Australia. It was actually my husband’s job that led us Down Under. He works here at a subsidiary of his German parent company as an expat, a posted worker abroad.
Sun, openness and poisonous animals
What impresses me most about Australia is the lifestyle. Despite a heavy workload, it is easier to enjoy life here. This is no surprise with 300 days of sunshine a year and the most beautiful beaches on your doorstep. Therefore, 99.9% of the people who live here are also relaxed. It is easy to make local friends, whether parents from the school and kindergarten or neighbours. Everyone is very approachable here and always open to a chat. But what does local friends mean in Australia? Is there such a thing as a “typical” Australian? So many have roots in Europe, but also in Asia and South America. Of course, there were also things that I had to get used to. The wildlife here was my biggest culture shock – big spiders, lots of snakes and some of them are the most poisonous in the world.
Flexibility requires discipline
I have completed a medical degree and the majority of my specialist training. But professionally, I would like to focus on other priorities. Therefore, I am now studying for the Master of Business Administration at the IUBH in order to develop business management foundations. I was looking for a degree course in German because I was a little afraid of studying an English-language course. Also speaking in favour of IUBH was the purely online studies without attendance hours. The advantage is definitely the flexibility, but you have to stay focused and organise yourself. That requires a lot of discipline.
It is not always easy to integrate studying into everyday life when you have a family and job. I try to work on my three free mornings a week, to use some evenings and to study at the weekend ahead of exams. Fortunately, I have found good exchange partners in Germany, and thanks to modern technology it is easy to communicate despite the time difference and distance.
A longing for Carnival and Christmas spirit
From Germany, I miss the Carnival in Cologne and, of course, our friends and family. But at the moment, I particularly miss Christmas time. There is not much Christmas spirit at 30 degrees despite all the lights and great decorations. But on the other hand, we can use the time for a great passion of ours: travelling. We are going to New Zealand at Christmas this year. And in three years, we will move back to Germany. That was a very difficult decision – but it has been made.